The United Kingdom's top music accolade, the Mercury Prize, announced its shortlist of nominees Thursday, and it includes some legendary names. The late David Bowie earned a posthumous nod for his haunting "parting gift" to fans, Blackstar, which dropped two days before the artist's death.
Radiohead also earned their fifth nomination for the band's evocative collection of forgotten rarities, A Moon Shaped Pool. Grime artist and OVO family member Skepta also nabbed a nod for her album Konnichiwa, as did the London-based rapper Kano for his Made in the Manor.
Voted on by influencers and fans, the Mercury Prize is essentially the equivalent of the United States' album of the year Grammy — but with an eye on true musical excellence, rather than popularity and marketability. It seeks to uplift artists who might not otherwise find their way to a mainstream audience, as the mission statement on its website reads.
This year, however, the stakes of the award are somewhat higher.
"This is music to make sense of our unsettling times — heartfelt, angry, thoughtful and thrilling," the judging panel said, according to Pitchfork. "The 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize 'Albums of the Year' are marked by their musical ambitions, unexpected instrumentation and breathtaking arrangements."
Check the full list of nominees below, with links to further coverage. The winner will be announced on September 15.
Bat for Lashes: The Bride
David Bowie: Blackstar
Jamie Woon: Making Time
Kano: Made in the Manor
Laura Mvula: The Dreaming Room
Michael Kiwanuka: Love & Hate
Radiohead: A Moon Shaped Pool
Savages: Adore Life
The 1975: I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It
The Comet Is Coming: Channel the Spirits